Extensive customer research conducted by the company resulted in innovation across design, food and drink and the customer experience, which together form a ‘test and learn’ of its new brand proposition.
Pizza Express also held a public ‘flaremob’ in Oxford Circus to celebrate the relaunch of the restaurant.
The kitchen has been repositioned to take centre stage at the heart of the restaurant, in an aim to bring the theatre and authenticity of Pizza Express’ pizza-making to the fore.
Hues of gold will surround the pizzaiolos at work, with white marble tables and teal and rose furnishings coming together across the main dining area, which surround the kitchen, to make the space warm and inviting for up to 137 diners.
The pizzeria will also be one of the brand’s first to introduce a defined bar space, which has been co-created alongside partners Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Positioned by the entrance adjacent to the main dining area, the bar area will cater for up to 30 covers and has been designed to increase its appeal as the destination of choice for drinks.
Pizza Express will offer options including a new ‘Peroni Spritz’ which combines Aperol, grapefruit and Peroni Nastro Azzurro as well as the ‘Bloody Mary’, which uses a base of the pizzeria’s fresh passata.
A vital part of the work the brand has done is to spend time with the people who run its sociable pizzerias across the country. These teams have been heavily involved in co-creating the new approach to unlock “great experiences” for customers.
As a result, the brand has focused on three areas; a leadership programme to develop its restaurant management teams across its pizzerias; a new service journey that focuses on social connection with customers and empowers teams to drive a deeper engagement with guests needs and flex service accordingly; and the brand has also updated its uniforms based on feedback from the team.
The ‘test and learn’ format will also be seen at Pizza Express’ new Leeds outlet, which will be the brand’s 10th pizzeria in the city. Located next to Leeds Arena, it will officially launch in April using the same template as the central London site. Both openings will be bolstered by the launch of the brand’s spring menu.
Zoe Bowley, managing director at Pizza Express, said: “In depth consumer and market research has helped us develop a new offering, which not only stays true to our incredible heritage and Peter’s original vision for the brand, but also helps us understand the critical elements to ‘future-proof’ the business.
“We’re extremely excited to be unveiling both our Langham Place, Oxford Circus and Leeds Arena pizzerias and look forward to taking learnings from this launch.”